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Zywiec Porter | Zywiec Breweries PLC (Heineken)

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Zywiec PorterZywiec Porter

Brewed by:
Zywiec Breweries PLC (Heineken)
Poland | website

Style: Baltic Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 11-01-2001

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Reviews: 401 | Ratings: 741
Photo of DJ-Hophead
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 ml bottle Browarium Sklepy Piwne - Pours dark black with a large tanned foamy head. Medium carbonation. Nice lacing. Smell - roasted coffee to the fore, roasted malts, dark fruit notes. Taste - Sweet foretaste, dark fruits, roasted malts, cocoa, light warm alcoholic aftertaste with a slight bitter finish. Huge jump from their more UK available lager. Solid sipper.

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Photo of ScioRevo
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I'm no expert but it was more like a stout than a porter. Very dark, malty, strong flavors and appealing bitterness. But it does have a metallic taste in the background. I like it, overall. In my own dictionary of evaluation I would call this "flavorful and interesting."

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Photo of slung1
4.24/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

My favorite porter . I'm a stout guy by nature , but the 1881 porter is a nice change of pace. Its a 9.5 ABV and a descent bitterness . A great evening beer for movie night. It has an earthy sweetness a hint of alcohol aftertaste if the temperature as above 50 degrees when opened .

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Photo of RobertDBrase
4.17/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours out an impressive black with a creamy and bubbly head that pulls a great brown color.

Wow! The smell is so complex and beautiful. A mix of dark fruits, roasted malts, brown sugar and some background of licorice.

The taste is one of roasted malts and a whole lot of different dark fruits. I was also getting some raisin and background tastes of black licorice.

Mouth feel was fairly light and just maybe pushing towards medium with a smooth finish.

Overall I found this to be a complex and delicious porter. The alcohol hides very well and the taste is so dark and delicious. Really I found this to be a very complex porter/stout style. With all of the various smells and flavor profiles this is a big bang winner. And this coming from a brewery owned by one of the big boys! Well go figure.

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Photo of dcscientist
3.94/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was a pretty good beer, surely better than their other major export that I can find in my area (the pale lager). I had no idea that it was 9.5% ABV, almost making this an imperial rather than a straight porter, but I also didn't care because it was smooth and easy to drink. Goes great with Polish food on a cold night, that's for sure. Solid porter.

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Photo of detgfrsh
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From a half liter bottle marked best by 6/2/16. Pours a jet black color with two fingers of tan head. Smells of malt and a little bit of sweetness. Smooth mouthfeel, rich malt flavor, and a touch of bitterness at the end. Some alcohol warmth as well (it is 9.5%, after all). Very nice porter.

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Photo of c014572
4.01/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

One of my go-to buzz beers, this is a nice balanced ported when it's cold. It has an initial metallic bite to me when not chilled enough. Not sure what it looks like, never made it to a glass. Don't confuse this with the Euro-lager taste, not like it at all. A nice, not too sweet, baltic porter with a great kick for a great price.

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Photo of tone77
3.53/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 16.9 oz. bottle. Has a black color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of roasted malts, some chocolate. Taste is roasted malts, alcohol, hints of chocolate, hops are present as well. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a good beer, but a bit on the boozy side for my liking.

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Photo of RoyalT
3.39/5  rDev -14%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance – This poured a dark brown in color with a modest head.

Smell – The rich coffee grounds form the backbone of the nose along with raw sugar and a slight aroma of plantains.

Taste – The coffee from the nose gives way to a more malty flavor with a bit of raw grain that exposes this bee’s macro ownership. It’s comfortable though with nothing offensive.

Mouthfeel – This is a big beer, medium-full in body, with just the right amount of mild carbonation.

Drinkability – The much-maligned “heiny-in-a-can” brewery did a respectable job leaving well enough alone. The long, proud history of this brewery continues to shine through even with new ownership and it is definitely worth a try.

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Photo of mnredsoxfan69
4.12/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This robust Baltic Porter has the look of dark mahogany when you pour it, with a finger of light brown foam on the top that lasts for a little while but leaves plenty of lacing on the glass. Ruby highlights shine through the beer as you hold it up to the light.

As one sniffs the beer after pouring the nose is filled with aromas of roasted malt and molasses and just a hint of coffee.

The taste is strongly roasted but not overpowering with hints of blackstrap molasses and just a little bit of coffee. Hops are insignificant in the flavor profile as they are in the smell.

This medium bodied brew packs a hidden wall up of 9 1/2% alcohol. This is not meant for tossing back with abandon. On the tongue it feelslike velvet low carbonation gentle warmth from the alcohol.

In summation Zywiec 1881 Porter is a delicious winter evening drink while watching football and eating a taco salad. Spicy food goes especially well with this beer. It can stand up to most any flavors. It is sweet without being cloying and roasty without tasting burnt.

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Photo of Duff_Light
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've enjoyed this one for some time now. The price can't be beat for those who likes thick and creamy porters/stouts (1.69 for the 1pt.09 bottle).
Pours thick and creamy with a tan/beige head.
Aromas of malt, touch of coffee, chocolate, fruit
Taste of malt, coffee, fruit with touch of the chocolate and a litte alcohol. Very smooth but a touch thin given how it pour.
A pleasant, but medium aftertaste.

Do be careful, as noted this comes in at a deceiving 9.5% abv so it can sneak up on you if you're not aware.

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Photo of stevoj
4.27/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle from Binney's. This pours thick and velvety, with heavy body, thick lacing, black with creamy beige head. Aroma of dark chocolate, nuts, pumpernickel. Taste has smooth bitterness, roast grains, sharp aftertaste and lingering finish. This was a real treat.

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Photo of puboflyons
4.47/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From the 500 ml. bottle with an expiration date of 06.02.2016. Sampled on January 2, 2016. This is the 1881 edition but I did not see a listing on BA other than the original Porter listing.

Dark chocolate brown heady pour that is opaque and shows red hues in the light.

Big sweet and chocolate aroma, a little char and melted caramel.

The body is around medium and smooth.

The taste is quite sweet with a milk chocolate character and a ripe bitterness that brings itself out at the finish. This is supposedly the original 1881 recipe and if that is the case...they should continue brewing it that way. Delightful.

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Photo of Jacobob10
4.18/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

500 mL bottle.

Deep brown with a small tan head. Deep, rich, toasted malt in the aroma and fruity (think raisins). Complex malty and fruity flavor with a vinous-like character to it. Thick, full bodied and smooth. Lively carbonation keeps the beer lively and from becoming too heavy. Strong but surprisingly easy to drink.

Pronounced "Zhiv-ee-ets" as explained to me by my Polish coworker. However you want to say it, this is one hell of a delicious beer. And for $1.99/bottle it was an absolute steal. Highly recommended.

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Photo of Kubishark
4.62/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Picked up a few 500ml bottles of this for $1.99 each. This has got to be one of the best deals in all of beer as far as I'm concerned.

It's dark and has a cola look to it. Smells like chocolate and roasted malts. The taste is big and boozier than I remember it being the first time I had it. A very bold beer, it's also well-balanced and has a variety of subtle flavors that aren't always present in more coffee-like beers. There's bitterness but also a cola-like sweetness.

This is one of my favorite beers ever, regardless of the price point. This could cost two or three times what it is now and I'd still buy just as much of it. (But I'd like it to stay as cheap as it is, please.)

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Photo of dcotom
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 0.5L bottle into a stein. Dark coffee color with a tan head that leaves some pretty lacing as it revedes. Aromas of dark roasted malts, molasses, prunes carry over onto the palate. Not overly bitter or boozy, creamy mouthfeel, a little lingering sweetness on the finish. Nicely done, an outstanding Baltic porter.

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Photo of Cthulhusquid
4.83/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Look: Poured into a Propolis tulip. Two finger chocolate head which lasted awhile, pitch black body.

Smell: Chocolate covered dark fruits, banana bread.

Taste: Dark fruits, chocolate, coffee, and a hint of molasses.

Feel: Full body, medium-high carbonation. Upfront sweetness is immediately swapped for mild roasty bitterness, slight alcohol bite.

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Photo of anon
3.84/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours nearly black, but very deep shades of brown come through in the light. Appears silky smooth with decent carbonation and soft lacing hitting the edges, but not hanging around for long.

Smells boozy up front, a bit charred, roasty and hoppy. The alcohol comes through strong on the tongue but seems common in baltics, although the char bitterness evens things out quite nicely. Roasted malt and coffee, caramel, toffee, hop bitternes.

Kind of a thick brew but feels creamy and smooth, leaving a nice feel on the tongue. Alcohol presence lingers along with the char but overall this is a pretty decent Baltic.

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Photo of thepenguin
4.09/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed 9/2/13

L: Pours a very dark brown, close to black, with a tan head.

S: Sweet and toffeelike, and somewhat vinous. Smells like dried fruits (figs), honey and some licorice. Strong smells of alcohol.

T: Sweet and boozy, somewhat harsh. Following the aroma, it tastes like dried fruit and licorice. Has a semidry and bitter finish, with the bitterness akin to that of licorice and burnt coffee. Fairly clean flavor profile, reminding me that this leviathan of a beer is in fact a lager.

F: Medium-full body and low-medium carbonation. Leaves a slick oily feeling on the palate. Although it doesn’t pack too much heat in the sip, alcoholic warmth creeps up afterwards. Actually quite tame for the staggering abv.

O: An interesting though quite boozy and somewhat abrasive beer. Some unique aromas and flavors, fairly but not terribly complex, and maybe a cold winter’s day might call for this. Perhaps some aging would do this particular brew some good.

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Photo of tlema1
3.51/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

L:deep black with a thick rich head
S: metallic, not appealing or inviting
T: Cocoa and cream, with a bitter, boozy finish
F: medium body, with a dry, hot finish
O: great ABV to price ratio, and a pretty solid beer

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Photo of cjgiant
4.02/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle B 3/2016:
Beer pours very dark with a nice thick tan head. The head settles to a creamy consistency slowly, covering the surface and providing lacing early.
The nose is lightly malty sweet, little cola, little root spice, some chocolate and maybe a little licorice.

Taste follows the nose pretty much exactly - it may be a tad more chocolaty. There is also just a hint of a milky note coming out middle to end that turns into a latte-like heavy-cream coffee taste. I don't get much smoke, and this is malty without being sweet. The feel is maybe a tad watery, as the flavors seem to wash away fairly quickly after they flow smoothly over the palate.

Very enjoyable, actually. I'm not sure what I was expected, but this exceeded it. Just a nice tasting beer, perhaps a bit dangerously drinkable at 9+%.

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.85/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A : From the bottle it pours a fairly light brown bean color but into the snifter it fills out with dark, slick black hues. Some light golden coffee hues also show when light penetrates. The head is gorgeous, almond colored, and colossal. 4 fingers at my measurement, even in the globe snifter.

S : Lots of chocolate out front, faintly trailing with some roast bean, charred barley, and a polite snap of black licorice. This is one fabulous smelling porter.

T : Lots of roasted and burnt bean out front, with a (literal) tongue-numbing carbonated milky presence. Cocoa is faintly in the distance, with a rather high earthy hop presence and a finish of burnt malts and scorched coffee.

F : Highly carbonated, suspended within a milky creaminess that rivals stouts. As said, it numbs the front half of the tongue, and retains feeling again once the beer has been dispersed. It ends pretty earthy and dry, like a mouthful of dry dirt.

O : The first two categories were outstanding. The taste left me a little overwhelmed with the hop presence and scorched earth, and disappointed with the lack of cocoa. The feel I couldn't quite nail down whether I liked it or not. It was unique, and helped push the porter along, but unfortunately a bit wild. I may choose to try this again as it only cost me $2 for a tall bottle.

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Photo of BCraig
3.43/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours black with some brown hue. Thick light caramel colored head that is slow to dissipate, beautiful lacing. Aromas of toasted caramel, raisin, other dark berry, coffee, toffee. Tastes of roasted malt, heavy sweet and charred caramel with some bitter roasted malt, not unpleasant though. Overall drinkable, but feels thick.

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Photo of Erlkoenig
3.97/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from its bottle into a large snifter. Reviewed from notes a few hours later.

L: Extremely dark brown, a half-step from totally black. Totally opaque. Thin tan head that separates and dissolves into nothing after a few minutes; wispy spots of lacing that don't linger.

S: I was a little underwhelmed by this one's scent. It's pretty much what you'd expect from a porter. Notes of dark fruit and coffee dominate, but they're more subdued than I would expect. There's just not a lot of nose here.

T: Now this is where things get better. Starts sweet, with a mild punch of alcohol in the front, along with caramel and more of the dark fruit; something like prune. Coffee notes follow accompanied by a tiny bit of hop bitterness. Somewhere in the midst of it all is an almost metallic mineral taste. It's not entirely unpleasant, but notable.

M: Medium body, slightly creamy. A little astringency, but still smooth.

O: This is very easy drinking for its 9.5% abv. The balance is nice and the taste is very pleasant. It's also very good for its price point. I know technically it's probably not as good as other brews on my radar, but the drinkability combined with the flavor and the price make this a go-to porter for me.

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Photo of Andrewharemza
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black body with medium level froth. Aroma is of chocolate, coffee and dark fruits. Taste reveals very much the same. A nice combination of flavours that go well on the palate.

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Zywiec Porter from Zywiec Breweries PLC (Heineken)
88 out of 100 based on 401 ratings.